Monthly Archives: July 2008

WWC#45: Permanently Temporary

The words this week are Temporary and Permanent
I am reminded of the lyrics to the RUSH song “Circumstances”

Plus ca change
Plus c’est la meme chose
The more that things change
The more they stay the same.

in a few years, this will be a distant memory

in a few years, this will be a distant memory



I look at my boys growing up so very fast, the oldest two becoming young men…and I know that it won’t be long before they are all grown and gone. 

Children are both temporary (they grow up and move out) and permanent (they never cease to be your children).







Writing in snow (or sand) must be considered temporary literature. 


H-J with sparklers

H-J with sparklers





Sparklers on the 4th of July give a temporary pleasure.

SM with sparklers

SM with sparklers








symbol of permanent commitment

symbol of permanent commitment


 Youthful beauty is fleeting, temporary, and mostly in the eye of the beholder.  I almost didn’t use this picture of my aging hand.  My wedding ring could use a cleaning. 

Yet this picture shows a double meaning of permanent:  I don’t ever want to remove my wedding ring, and I don’t think it could be taken off if I tried!


 Bonus Pics from SnakeMaster’s Par-Tay:

Poor big brother was the starting post!




We told all the boys they had to be touching MusicMan before they started their Reptile Egg Hunt.  Poor MM…
At least it was only temporary!


SnakeMaster with his Snake Cake

SnakeMaster with his Snake Cake


And then there is the newest resident in Kcinnova’s World.  You will have to decide which word fits him! 

photo from Google Images…because “Spots” hasn’t decided to pose for me yet! 
Yes, SnakeMaster got a reptile for his birthday.  BUT NO SNAKES!!!!


Want to know more about the Weekly Words Challenge?  Visit Tink at Pickled Beef.

Happy Birthday!

SnakeMaster on his 8th birthday last year

SnakeMaster on his 8th birthday last year

Today is SnakeMaster’s 9th birthday.  Unlike last year, he hasn’t had a black snake climb up the wall of our porch to wish him a happy birthday, but we ARE planning a wildlife Par-Tay for Friday evening. 
Here are some special things about SM:

  1. He is my “baby” – the youngest of 4 boys
  2. He is a little bit shy
  3. He is a great friend to others
  4. He LOVES animals
  5. Especially reptiles and snakes!!
  6. He likes to watch Animal Planet
  7. He says it is because he learns new information
  8. This is also why he chooses books about animals and nature
  9. His role models are Steve Irwin and Jeff Corwin


Happy 9th Birthday, SnakeMaster! 🙂

regrettably forgetful

You know how you always forget something when you go on vacation?  Okay, maybe YOU don’t…but I do! 
So guess what I forgot to pack in my bag this past weekend?

No big deal, right?  Just a big get-together with 17 members of the extended family, my nephew’s wedding, the first time holding my grandniece (who is exceedingly adorable), and the joy of watching SnakeMaster play with his cousins.

*sigh*  I’ll just have to wait for others to share their pictures. 
We sure did have fun (except for the unexpectedly long layover in Chicago), but I’m glad to be home again.


Occasionally, I come across some newsworthy items that I like to share with my bloggy friends.   The following is one such item.


Nutrition News: 


Q:  I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true? 

A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that’s it . . . Don’t waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that’s like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster.  
Want to live longer? Take a nap. 



Q:  Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A:   You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat?  
Hay and corn.  And what are these? Vegetables.    So a steak is nothing more than a mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system.     Need grain?  Eat chicken.  Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable).  And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of slop vegetable products. 



Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?


A:  No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit.  Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way.   Beer is made out of grain.  Bottoms up! 



Q:  How can I calculate my body/fat ratio? 

A:  Well, if you have a body and you have fat your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc. 

Q:  What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?


A:  Can’t think of a single one, sorry.  My philosophy is:  No Pain…Good! 



Q:  Aren’t fried foods bad for you?


A:  YOU’RE NOT LISTENING!!! .   Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil.  In fact, they’re permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you? 



Q:  Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle? 


A:  Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach. 



Q:  Is chocolate bad for me? 


A:  Are you crazy?   HELLO…  Cocoa beans!  Another vegetable!!!  It’s the best feel-good food around! 



Q:  Is swimming good for your figure? 


A:  If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me. 




Well,  I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.   


For those of you who watch what you eat, here’s the final word on nutrition and health.  It’s a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies. 


1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.


2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans. 


3. The Chinese drink very little red wine  and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.


4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine  and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.


5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.




Eat and drink what you like.  Speaking English is apparently what kills you.




















WWC#44: Sign and Graffiti (NOT)

A Day Late and a Dollar Short! 

As I drove by some great signs over the weekend, I kept thinking, I really should keep my camera in the car …but I don’t.   Then I was banned from the computer yesterday, OH THE PAIN OF IT!!!  ON A TUESDAY!! 
We live in the middle of nowhere, so graphiti graffiti is hard to find (let alone SPELL!!).  For the signs, I could give you repeats from the archives, but that would take time and my 2 hour time limit is ticking…

And frankly, my heart wasn’t in it.  I’m feeling so sad for Tink, who heads up the WWC.  She had a death in the family last week.

So PROPS to all of you who actually accomplished the WWC this week.  I’ll try to stop by and comment! 

I’m leaving disgustingly early tomorrow morning to catch a plane to Colorado.  My nephew is getting married, so SnakeMaster & I are going to represent our family.  We can’t all afford to go, and SuperDad has to work.  Next week will be VERY busy, but I’ll post again when I can!

Just arrived


pop! pop! pop!

pop! pop! pop!









What could that noise be?   BUBBLEWRAP!!
Oh, the joys of having $12 worth of Bubblewrap to play with for an afternoon! 😉

It came inside this big box from Gary Rith, my pottery-making friend in upstate NY.  If you haven’t yet checked out his his blog, go do it!  He makes a lot of fun, useful, whimsical pots.   I just know you will find something you’ll fall in love with, and his prices are incredibly reasonable!



All of that Bubblewrap, cardboard, styrofoam, and newspaper were protecting my much-anticipated special order.  Gary’s pottery is lead-free, microwave-safe AND dishwasher-safe!  And the glazes are gorgeous – photographs do not do them justice.


new bowls and plates waiting to be used

new bowls and plates waiting to be used


I carefully unwrapped each piece and set it on the sideboard, because they are too pretty to be put away in a dark cupboard just yet!  So they snuggled up next to the bunny bowl and waited…


 And here is the table set for dinner:

before beverages & 2 huge pizzas moved in

before beverages & 2 huge pizzas moved in

Delicious (and vegetarian!) pizza

Delicious (and vegetarian!) pizza

Now those beautiful dishes are nestled in the dishwasher. 
Happy, happy, happy!!!  New dishes, hooray!

Vacation Memories*

My kids have NO IDEA how good they have it; they have spent their lives traveling the country (and Europe) in cloth-seated, air-conditioned comfort.  MiniVans might be a joke to some folks, but we have been (mostly) happy with the 3 different ones we have owned.  

yes, we did buy a minivan when we had only one child, and yes, we have put 250,000+ miles on minivans in the past 17 years 

There was no A/C or cloth seats in my childhood vehicles.  No vehicular DVD player, no music except what came from the AM radio or our own vocal chords.   And in my really early years of travel, no reliable heaters.   (No big deal, it was just wintertime in Wisconsin.) 
After years of VW bugs and then a microbus, my folks finally bought…

like this, only deep blue

like this, only deep blue

a 1973 Chevy Impala wagon. 

Just like this one, only deep blue.  A true, blue BOAT of a car, with black vinyl seats.   It lasted forever, or at least long after I went to college. 

Whoohoo!  A heater that actually worked!  AND a radio!  That thing was wider and longer than a modern Suburban.  I couldn’t ride in the way-back because I easily succumbed to motion sickness, or as it was infamously called, “car sick.”  Instead, I rode in the middle between my 2 brothers.  Supposedly, this would keep me from feeling the effects of too much swaying and force me to look straight ahead them from fighting, although they just punched me in the efforts to punch each other, before my dad would swing his arm back and hit us all: them for fighting and me for whining about it. 
I got them back, though, because I threw up.  Often.  Sometimes late morning or early afternoon due to curving mountain roads or looking out the side windows, watching the telephone poles fly by.  And almost always, like clockwork, between 8 and 9 am, every morning, about an hour after we stopped for dry pop-tarts and freshly mixed “Tang” by the side of the road.  (We got up at the crack of dawn to put in 500+ miles every day.)  It took me until college before I could look at a pop-tart without gagging. 
All that family togetherness was a bit much at times, and not just because I was famous for barfing in the car.  (My family coined the term “sick bucket” for the little utility/garbage bucket that came with our Chevy wagon.)  In fact, I think my tendency to motion sickness was a good distraction for the family, or at least my parents.  They didn’t have the best of marriages.  My parents spent most of my school years alternately separating and getting back together.  As they were both workaholics, they didn’t see a lot of each other during a normal week.  But 2 weeks of vacation?  It was only a little less stressful than the holidays, especially  

older, uglier, and with a soft top

not as nice as this one: older, uglier, and with a soft top

when you are towing a flimsy old tent trailer with TINY wheels behind your station wagon.  (“If you keep driving this fast, you’re going to blow a tire on the tent trailer!”) 

However, there are good memories, too.  Multiple trips to Disneyland in California (and Knott’s Berry Farm, and Universal Studios). 

Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Canadian Rockies

Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Canadian Rockies

We rented canoes, hiked around the lake and up to the Japanese tea house.

the path eventually becomes dirt and mud

We made several visits to the Canadian Rockies.  It’s rather exciting to be canoeing in the middle of Lake Louise when a storm comes up!  We also hiked along the side of the lake and up to the Japanese Tea House. 

Inland Passage of Alaska via ferryThe biggest adventure was our trip to Alaska in 1978.  We loaded the 6 of us, plus the Chevy wagon, onto the M/V Columbia in Seattle.  This ferry took us through Alaska’s Inland Passage, and then driving from Haines to points north & west before heading down the ALCAN, listening to truckers on the CB radio, madly closing windows and vents when meeting another vehicle on those unpaved roads.   It was on this trip that we finally bought a tent big enough for the 6 of us.  The Chevy was even more of a low-rider when loaded down with a huge, heavy canvas tent, but at least we weren’t towing the trailer anymore!

{Right about here, I’d insert a photo of the 18 inches of horizontal mud accumulated on the lower sides of the car near the end of our trip…but I don’t have that photo to share with you!}

For better or for worse, the family vacations pretty much ended when my folks’ marriage went on life-support, the last few years before it permanently hit the proverbial rocks.  We took one final trip together (minus my older sister as a working college student), but it was an airplane and a rental car that took us through 2 weeks of vacation.  Starting and ending in the Midwest (the early childhood and college haunts of my parents) we also visited all the requisite sites of the East Coast.  Amazingly, my folks got along quite well on this trip.  Perhaps it was the bittersweet nature of it all, visiting old friends and younger memories… 

And perhaps that is why I am inspired to give my children some of that same experience  (the good memories and traveling to places I believe are important to see, NOT the bad memories part!!)  before they are grown up and off to college.  Because I grow increasingly aware that those days of childhood are soon to end. 
*Very much inspired by Mary Alice, who guest-posted on July 7th at Mrs. G’s Derfwad Manor.

all photos from Google images

Where was I?

  • 1 minivan
  • 2 weeks
  • over 1,800 miles (more than 830 on the last day, in our foolish desire to Just. Get. Home.)

…and most of the time, 11 people sharing one house! 

Jenn guessed we might be going to Indiana (not a bad guess!) and Moo guessed Colorado (that is where I’m going in a few weeks for my nephew’s wedding).
Gary “guessed” correctly, we went to Wisconsin!

He doesn’t get full credit for his “guess” because he knew where we were headed.  We had talked about going to his place to pick up my new dishes, but he was busy teaching a class the only day we could go to upstate NY. We’ll make it up there another time, I hope!


I spent a couple of days here:
Mount Olympus

and a couple of nights here:

Summerfest 2008

"Get your Summerfest On"

with my bro at Summerfest

with my bro at Summerfest

…doing a bit of people watching, listening to all types of music, and getting in a few special concerts.  Thanks to free tickets and parking passes that my brother had available for us, we did all of this for FREE!!!  
And did I mention free beer?  I love my brother. 
I did indeed get my Summerfest on!



Don't I look happy to be there? 🙂


This is me at the Rush concert.

My SIL is a saint and she came with me, even though the only Rush song she recognized was “Tom Sawyer.”

I love me some Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, and Alex Lifeson

I love me some Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, and Alex Lifeson


SuperDad & me in the Leinie Lounger

SuperDad & me in the Leinie Lounger

The next night, SuperDad came with us. 

We based ourselves at the Oasis, but there was plenty to see and do along the shores of Lake Michigan.  Most of the big-name concerts don’t start until after dark (some as late as 10pm).

We didn’t stick around to hear Trace Adkins’ entire set; I was nice and accompanied SuperDad to see the last part of Blondie. 

I also love me some Leinies

I also love me some Leinies

Most of our time was spent chillin’ out at my brother’s home, with his wife and 3 kids. 
We went strawberry picking (and hence made pies and pies and jam and jam and smoothies). 

American Girls and their Dolls

American Girls and their Dolls

I accompanied my niece and her friends to see the new American Girl movie, Kit Kittredge.  It was a GREAT movie!!  When it comes out on DVD, I’ll share it with my boys, because no boy would be caught dead seeing it in the theater. 

neighborhood parade on the 4th

neighborhood parade on the 4th


And we experienced an awesome Midwest 4th of July.

assembling some of the supplies

assembling some of the supplies




fireworks in my bro's backyard

fireworks in my bro's backyard

Oh, and the highest gas prices we saw?  $4.59/gallon for regular unleaded in Indiana.  YIKES!!
I’m glad to be back to $3.99/gallon at my local Costco!

6 months old today!

The addiction continues…

Yep, 6 months old.  Guess that means this blog is sitting up, drooling with abandon, and wondering how to get moving!

WWC#43: Age & Beauty

Here is my interpretation the current Weekly Words Challenge: (Compliments of our young and lovely Tink)

In words…

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”
     Proverbs 31:30

“…the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit…”
1 Peter 3:4

and since a picture is worth a thousand words…

mother & daughter 

a photograph of my dear, sweet SIL and her equally lovely mother
both of whom embody the above descriptions

Sorry I missed posting last week –and 2 week’s worth of commenting– but I was busy enjoying a break.  More tomorrow on that subject!  (Any further guesses as to where we vacationed?  Location to be revealed tomorrow!)